By LAURA MORRIS
Students flocked to the Great Hall on Sunday, Feb. 24, for a night of charity and courtship. The Date Auction, promoted by Invisible Children, proved to be a successful fundraiser for this organization and a show filled with side-splitting humor for its audiences.
Invisible Children is an organization founded in 2004 with a goal of “stopping Joseph Koney and the Lord’s Resistance Army from abducting, killing, and displacing civilians in East and Central Africa.” UMW students took their own initiative with the date auction to raise money and end the atrocity.
“It’s great to be a part of something serious and cooperative,” said Zach Johnson, an undeclared sophomore who was auctioned off at the event. “It’s nice to be involved with something all the way on the other side of the world.”
The love for this cause was evident on the faces of all who were involved. Another auctionee, Danielle Whitty, a junior psychology major, said, “I have a really big heart for children in third-world countries, so I really wanted to help out the best I could.”
The host of the event, junior English major Abbey Doherty, participated in hilarious commentary with the auctioneer, her father, Brian Joseph Doherty. The conversation between these two was a show in itself. As the auctionees took the stage, Abbey introduced them to the crowd and they showed off their personalities in many different ways. Each participant was asked to “shake your booty” for the expecting crowd.
One auctionee, Andrew Hogan, performed a strip tease that ended in his dancing while decked out in a very small speedo. He earned $80 for the cause. Carl Larson, who was a last minute addition to the show, brought in the highest bid among male participants, with $110, by tantalizing the audience with his dance moves. Alyssa Hughes brought in the highest amount among female participants, with $115.
Aside from watching the auction, viewers enjoyed an intermission show by UMW a capella group, One Note Stand, which the auctioneer jokingly referred to as “one night stand.” Audience members could enter into a raffle with the chance to win gift cards from the various sponsors of the event, such as Outback Steakhouse, Tito’s Diner and Qdoba.
The event raised over $1,000 for Invisible Children and participants could not have been happier with the result.
“We had great auctionees, great participation; we love seeing more people come out to the event every year,” said Doherty. “And we are just happy to raise any money we can for the cause. It’s all for the kids.”